Shoppers Drug Mart
Shoppers Drug Mart was first opened in Toronto in 1962 by Murray Koffler, a pharmacist, although he had already opened a store known as Koffler Associated Drugstore in 1952. The 1962 store became the prototype on which the Shoppers Drug Mart Limited concept was developed. At the time of the public underwriting in 1968, there were 53 retail drug outlets doing an annual sales volume of $27.8 million. A major expansion followed throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and the company separated into 3 corporate divisions: Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix (450 stores operating across Canada), Howie's (10 stores in Ontario and Manitoba) and Super X Drugs (80 stores in Ontario). In 1989, they were amalgamated into one unit and now have 724 stores.
There are 16 000 employees and total retail sales have exceeded $3.2 billion as of 1998. The Shoppers Drug Mart concept provides pharmacists with an opportunity to operate their own businesses while benefiting from the management efficiencies and economies of scale inherent in being part of the Shoppers Drug Mart network of stores. Each store is owned and operated by a licensed pharmacist, called an associate, and in return for an annual royalty fee, the associate has access to a variety of exclusive umbrella services designed to enhance sales and profitability at store level. Shoppers Drug Mart Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Imasco Limited, a Canadian-based company with a broad range of manufacturing, retailing and investment interests.